Continental became the first tire manufacturer to quickly launch large-scale production of recycled polyester yarn from PET bottles. The new ContiRe.Tex technology developed by Continental in order to increase sustainability was made ready for production within a few months. This high-performance material will be used for the first time in the production of Continental's PremiumContact 6 and EcoContact 6 summer tires and the specified dimensions of the AllSeasonContact tire. In this way, this sustainable and completely new material will replace the traditional polyester in the carcass of the specified tires.
The first tires produced by technology company and premium tire manufacturer Continental using polyester yarn obtained from recycled PETs were launched. Introducing its own ContiRe.Tex technology for the first time in September 2021, Continental brought the tires ready for production in a very short time thanks to this technology. This technology uses polyester yarns obtained from recycled PET bottles without any intermediate chemical steps and are not recycled in any other way for tire production.
In this way, production becomes much more efficient when compared to other standard methods in which PET bottles are converted into high-performance polyester yarns. The bottles used in this technology are obtained from regions where there is no closed recycling loop. As part of the special recycling process, the bottles are sorted and mechanically cleaned after the caps are removed. After mechanical shredding, PET material is granulated and spun into polyester yarn.
ContiRe.Tex technology went into production in as little as 8 months
Ferdinand Hoyos, Head of Continental's EMEA Region Tire Replacement Unit, said: “We use only high-performance materials in the manufacture of our premium tires. These materials will now include polyester yarns spun from PET bottles obtained through a dedicated and efficient recycling process. We put our innovative ContiRe.Tex technology into production in just eight months. I am proud of our entire team for this outstanding achievement. We are constantly increasing the proportion of renewable and recycled materials in our tires. By 2050 at the latest, we want to switch to tire production using only sustainable materials”.
First tires made from recycled PET bottles
All upcoming tires with ContiRe.Tex technology are manufactured at the Continental tire factory in Lousado, Portugal. Tires with ContiRe.Tex technology have a special logo on the side with the phrase "Contains Recycled Materials". Continental conducts intensive research on alternative materials in order to make the tires it produces energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Continental has developed a tire using ContiRe.Tex technology for the second season of the Extreme E-racing series, which started in February 2022, in which fully electric vehicles compete. Also, during this year's Tour de France, special ContiRe.Tex technology tires will be used on support vehicles.